Will be fit for biggest Test of my career, says confident Flintoff

Flintoff bowled England to victory in the second Test at Lord's but missed the fourth-Test loss at Headingley in Leeds when the selectors decided his injured right knee would not stand up to the stress of a five-day match.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Flintoff, who will retire from Test cricket after the Ashes series following a daunting sequence of serious injuries, said he had not bowled since the drawn third Test but had concentrated on rehabilitation on the knee which required an operation this year.

He practised on Tuesday with a brace on his heavily strapped right knee and went through his paces in the nets without showing any obvious discomfort.

“I have been trying to get ready for this one which is going to be an unbelievably good game,” he said. “I am confident that I will be all right but as I say, I have to prove it.
“I am sure there will be an element of swelling, however that can be managed. Using various treatments, I can get the swelling down.

“For the past week I have been getting fit for this Test match.
“It will be the biggest I have ever played, not because it's been my last but because of the position of the series."

Flintoff, 31, who was the key England player in the epic 2005 Ashes series with both bat and ball, said he did not think the heavy defeat in the fourth Test would have any bearing on the course of the Oval Test.

"It's quite exciting in the dressing room," he said. "People want to get going on Thursday and play.

“It's how the teams react to the pressure on such a big occasion. I think the team that does that best will take the honours at the end of it.”

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